For perhaps the first time this season, "The Mindy Project" strays into serious territory. Though tongue remains firmly in cheek, "Teen Patient" examines the pros and cons of providing birth control to teenagers. This episode also touches on young women and their sometimes poor self-image.
Sophia (Kara Crane), Mindy's neighbor, stops by the practice to ask Mindy for medical advice. After her mom died, Sophia said she learned about sex from Chelsea Handler's books and Dr. Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) herself. The teen now has a boyfriend named Henry (Alec George), and the young couple thinks they are ready to take the next step.
Assuming the maternal role, Mindy heads to the high school to talk with Henry. A mortified Sophia then turns the tables on her doctor by asking to speak to Mindy's boyfriend Josh (Tommy Dewey). Unfortunately, this casual lunchtime chat exposes some weaknesses in their burgeoning relationship, especially about longevity.
Still concerned about her young neighbor, Dr. Lahiri has another chat with Sophia in the high school gym. Mindy gives some worldly advice and a batch of condoms to the volleyball team, but this ends with the security guard hauling her to the principal's office. Danny (Chris Messina) shows up to bail her out of "school jail" and accepts a pizza slice in return for his help.
Back at the practice, Betsy (Zoe Jarman) reveals she is uncomfortable about her appearance. After watching the males in the office ogle Shauna (Amanda Setton), Betsy files a fake sexual harassment complaint. She has a heart-to-heart with Dr. Danny, but he assures her she is cute and adorable. Zoe feels good about herself, but Danny fears a sexual harassment lawsuit.
At the end, a contrite Josh waits for Mindy on her stoop with energy drinks and travel-sized deodorants (the flower shop was closed). Though he said he doesn't think relationships can last forever, he's willing to give it a try with Mindy.
Mindy Kaling is at her funniest in "Teen Patient," an outing that brings to mind the classic "Seinfeld" sitcom. Though a skilled surgeon, Kaling's character suffers from arrested development. Mindy's interactions with contemporary, text-obsessed teens are subtly hilarious as is her battle to sit properly in a beanbag chair.
From week to week, "The Mindy Project" solidifies its TV persona. Episodes that blend serious themes with humor like this one are when the series truly lives up to expectations. Dr. Lahiri needs to write more prescriptions -- and scripts -- like this one.